Wind-Energy - A Revitalized Pursuit was issued by Sandia Laboratories in 1974. This report discusses challenges of the “energy crunch” and the U.S. goal to maintain high standards of living by developing “promising energy sources that are (1) vast, (2) environmentally acceptable, and (3) economically competitive.” The authors felt that wind energy was a feasible solution.
Devising ways to efficiently harness the wind is an ongoing pursuit of scientists around the world.
If you can accurately predict the weather, you may be able to predict how much energy can be generated from wind turbines. That was one objective of the “Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project,” completed in 2011, to “develop a wind energy forecast system, and demonstrate its efficacy in scheduling power output from wind farms in the Great Plains.” The forecasting system described in the report was comprised of three elements, a software component using various weather prediction models, a wind energy output model, and a graphical user interface.
Hydrogen fuel cells are being widely tested as a potential for meeting future transportation needs.
In the technical report, Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project, available from the Information Bridge, the U.S. Department of Energy, Mercedes-Benz & Research Development, North America (MBRDNA), Chrysler, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), BP, DTE Energy and Next Energy endeavor to substantiate fuel cell technologies for infrastructure and transportation as well as evaluate technology and commercial market suitability. Tests were performed through the operation and fueling of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in practical situations, including variations in climate, topography, and driving conditions.
A large portion of DOE fuel cell research is about improving the fuel. Many fuels contain contaminants that can damage the cell and impede the processes involved. Developing methods for removing impurities from fuels may help improve their efficiency and environmental impact, thereby increasing their marketability.
In Fuel Quality Issues in Stationary Fuel Cell Systems, from the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory, researchers point out contaminants of particular concern because of their effects on the functionality and resilience of fuel cell systems, and suggest strategies for clean-up.